Current Affairs Book Reviews

WOMEN AND POWER by Mary Beard
Released: Dec. 12, 2017

"An urgent feminist cri de coeur, spot-on in its utterly reasonable plea that a woman 'who dares to open her mouth in public' actually be given a hearing."
Noted classicist and essayist Beard (S.P.Q.R.: A History of Ancient Rome, 2015, etc.) looks deep into the past and hard at the present to examine the power of women—and more often, their powerlessness—in a world of impatient men. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 27, 2018

"A horrifying exposé of how a few individuals can infect an entire state's criminal justice system."
A journalist and criminal defense lawyer combine their knowledge about wrongful convictions in Mississippi to expose a corrupt system, with a keen focus on a lying medical examiner and a dentist who concocted phony evidence based on bite marks on the bodies of crime victims. Read full book review >

Released: March 20, 2018

"Enough time has passed for some of Kaplan's forecasts to develop cracks—e.g., China has not yet stumbled—but much rings true, and all are presented with enough verve and insight to tempt readers to set it aside to reread in a few years."
The veteran political affairs journalist returns with a collection of essays that have been published in the Atlantic, the Washington Post, the National Interest, and other venues. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 21, 2017

"Mossfon remains a maze worthy of a Cretan palace, but Bernstein does first-rate work in providing a map to a scandal that has yet to unfold completely."
A searching look at the tangled, deeply buried financial network exposed by the publication of the so-called Panama Papers. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 23, 2018

"A moving, well-documented testimony to lawyers' tireless battles against a nation's inhumanity."
A Tel Aviv-based human rights lawyer forcefully argues that Israeli treatment of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories is equivalent to apartheid. Read full book review >

THE LINE BECOMES A RIVER by Francisco Cantú
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 6, 2018

"A devastating narrative of the very real human effects of depersonalized policy."
A Mexican-American student of international relations becomes a United States Border Patrol agent to learn what he can't in the classroom. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 1, 2018

"The crystal-clear message of this thoroughly researched and impressively documented book is that white supremacy remains a powerful force in the United States."
A fresh look at "the story of grassroots resistance to racial equality undertaken by white women" who "took central roles in disciplining their communities according to Jim Crow's rules." Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 16, 2018

"A well-written, matter-of-fact, inspirational account of how a man prevailed against a criminal justice system that is deeply flawed."
A travesty of the Texas judicial system leads to death-row vindication. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 16, 2018

"A rich, complex book that makes splendid use of data to trace the recent renaissance of city neighborhoods and how children and the poor flourish in a time of relative peace."
A sociologist's account of the "stunning" decline in urban American violence in the past two decades. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Dec. 26, 2017

"A deft, fair analysis that clarifies the issues for both the general public and concerned policymakers."
An examination of the pros and cons and the unknowns of the shale revolution, bringing much-needed light to the hot topic of fracking. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 7, 2017

"Required reading for those who want to understand the connections between Muslims and terrorism."
A U.S. Army War College instructor shares his scholarship about the Muslim faith through the centuries to explain how a minority of Muslims became global terrorists. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 14, 2017

"A frightening, scientifically grounded, and starkly relevant look at how climate change will affect coastal cities."
How the impending rise in sea levels caused by increasing amounts of carbon dioxide in the air will make life on the edge of the ocean very different over the next century. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Katey Sagal
author of GRACE NOTES
April 10, 2017

In her memoir Grace Notes, actress and singer/songwriter Katey Sagal takes you through the highs and lows of her life, from the tragic deaths of her parents to her long years in the Los Angeles rock scene, from being diagnosed with cancer at the age of twenty-eight to getting her big break on the fledgling FOX network as the wise-cracking Peggy Bundy on the beloved sitcom Married…with Children. Sparse and poetic, Grace Notes is an emotionally riveting tale of struggle and success, both professional and personal: Sagal’s path to sobriety; the stillbirth of her first daughter, Ruby; motherhood; the experience of having her third daughter at age 52 with the help of a surrogate; and her lifelong passion for music. “While this book is sure to please the author’s many fans, its thoughtful, no-regrets honesty will no doubt also appeal to readers of Hollywood memoirs seeking substance that goes beyond gossip and name-dropping,” our critic writes. “A candid, reflective memoir.” View video >